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iPad to Shake Up Comic Books Industry

A new iPad app could help update comic books for the 21st century.

Marvel Comics — the company behind such comic book heroes as Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the X-Men — has announced its digital comic book viewer for Apple's latest device.

"We're excited to introduce an unparalleled digital comic experience to our fans with the Marvel Comics App for iPad," Marvel CEO Dan Buckley said in a statement. "The iPad is the first device that offers us a chance to present digital comics that are even close to replicating the experience of reading a print comic."

The Marvel app will be familiar to users of the digital comic app for iPhone made by ComiXology, because ComiXology also made Marvel's app.

Marvel has high hopes for its iPad app. At a Planet Hulk press event in January, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada told TechNewsDaily's sister site, Newsarama, that he thinks the iPad will be a "huge gamechanger" for comics and for the publishing industry in general.

"I don’t know exactly where it's going to end up, [but] I know it's going to be fantastic where it does end up," Quesada said.

The digital comic book viewer is available for purchase now. The iPad itself goes on sale Saturday.

The Marvel app itself is free, but individual issues of digital comics will cost $1.99 each. Marvel says that over 500 classic and modern titles will be available at launch.

According to Marvel, each comic is re-colorized and re-digitized especially for the iPad.

Each comic can be read in multiple viewing modes and pages are flipped with the swipe of a finger.

The app allows readers to preview two pages from each comic before purchasing. It also includes a comic shop locator that shows addresses and phone numbers for local retailers for those rare instances when you might get nostalgic for print.

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